I am f-a-t. Fat. Hefty. Big boned. Chunky. You know that Eddie Murphy movie with the Klumps? Well I’m pretty sure he wrote that about me. I’ve tried everything to lose weight, but nothing works. I’m usually okay with my body, except for when summer rolls around. I’m so self-conscious that I’d rather wear sweats than shorts. I can’t even dream of going to the beach—who’d want to see my cottage cheese thighs in a swimsuit? Bathing suits weren’t made for me. I don’t really know what I’m asking, Kermit…I guess I just needed to vent.
Chunky in Chicago
Dear Chunky in Chicago,
This is a story I know all too well. I was on Weight Watchers in the 8th grade. I took Alli pills in high school. I got a personal trainer and started kickboxing in college. Hundreds of dollars were spent, but nothing seemed to work. It wasn’t until graduate school that I started losing physical weight because I started shedding mental weight. I lost weight when my weight loss was no longer for anyone else, to fit a certain size shorts, or to feel comfortable wearing a bathing suit at the beach. I made the change because I love myself and I understand that this body is the only body I’ll ever have. In order to shed weight, you must remember that the changes you want to see on the outside must first come from the inside. So, how can you go about doing that? Well…
First: Treat yourself and speak to yourself with only love and positivity. You’re not Chunky in Chicago. You’re Confident in Chicago! If you walked into my apartment, you’d think you were in an episode of Being Mary Jane. I have post-it notes with positive quotes and powerful affirmations hanging all over the walls. Start each morning off with an affirmation like “I am somebody.” You’d be surprised what that can do!
Second: Make a list of everything you love about yourself. Don’t rush this process. Try writing one thing each day or week. Take your time because you’ll discover new things you love each day, and those will certainly outweigh the things you’d like to change.
Third: Consider why you want to shed the physical weight. If it’s for someone else or for vanity reasons, that won’t be enough, and to be honest, that’s just not good enough anyway. Who cares what society thinks. Who cares what your family and friends think. You have to do it for you! Because you want to be the healthiest you there is. Because you want to live a long, wonderful life.
Fourth: Start slow. Make small changes like drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. The little victories count! Focus on how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go. Like losing weight, life is hard work. You’ll have ups and downs, good days and bad days, but you have to keep going, keep pushing, keep fighting for what you want. You are stronger than you think, so have a warrior mentality.
Finally: Discover your worth! Losing weight won’t make you happy, so figure out what will. Don’t be a slave to the scale. You are worth more than any number on a machine or on your clothing tag. You were made in His image. You are a child of the most high God. You have a purpose. No matter your weight, live your life like it’s golden. Fulfill your purpose and be the intelligent, kind, confident, beautiful, talented, courageous woman you were created to be.
And don’t wait to put on a bathing suit. Rock it today!